Shuffling the Deck: The Hermit-Mastery, Solitude, Commitment & Sharing

a deep hall of beauty by markhillary


The central question that the Hermit asks is…are you brave enough to go within? The question that we in turn ask the Hermit is…are you brave enough to come back out?

In a consult the Hermit can represent the querant, a person—especially a teacher or guide in the querant’s life, or a phase of study, solitude, and going inward that has some relationship to the querant. In most decks the Hermit is depicted as an older, somewhat sagacious looking man, with a long robe, staff, and lamp inside of which blazes a six rayed star. In the RWS deck-my favorite to work with as an intro to Tarot-he stands on top of what looks like snowy white peaks-indicating that he has achieved an apex of mastery in some given field-he has transcended and as such there is a part of him that is otherworldly. This is why sometimes the Hermit might also refer to a spirit guide or ancestor working in the querant’s life.

The Hermit is a master at his craft. He has committed to years of solitude so that he that his devotion to God, his art, his knowledge & his magic burn brightly-these are the attributes we see in the lantern. He has been brave-for solitude demands bravery, he has been focused-for excellence demands unparalleled attention, and he has been faithful-dedicating years (represented by the long white beard) to his work. His challenge is to re-engage with the world when the time is right, because the Hermit has not been toiling away all these years simply for himself. The light of illumination & revelation that he now possesses is meant to be shared, to shine on the entire world, and in order to do that he must come out of his cave and back into the crowds, the city, the marketplace. Failure to do so results in a dimming light, necrotic knowledge, anti-social behavior problems, or simply stagnation.

Put it into practice:

The Hermit gains wisdom because he is willing to focus with single minded concentration on the work at hand. Is there a project, endeavor, or goal that you have that has been neglected, only half completed, or simply sits gathering dust? Maybe it was not really that important-if that’s the case then let it go. But if its something that you truly want to accomplish follow these 3 steps inspired by the Hermit to do it in a timely & masterly manner!

1.) Identify the road blocks: what is keeping you from achieving your goal—maybe its as simple as time or as deep as a fear of failure. Name it and write it down.

2.) Create a sacred space for your work. Although we don’t see it-cartomancy tradition tells us that the Hermit has a magical cave he goes into where all of his tools, books, and studies reside. You need to create your own cave-think of it as a womb-you are gestating your creative self! Take the time to assemble all of the tools you will need, to make the area aesthetically pleasing, and bless it in some manner.

3.) Unplug & put up the Do Not Disturb Sign: You know Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own—that’s what you need to cultivate—this is your sacred time for your sacred work. That means NO interruptions, phone calls, noodling on the net, writing a letter to your BFF—no. Do not self-sabotage yourself by choosing a time when the kids are home, when your partner is out, when you are likely to be distrubed. This is time for you and your work. Simple. Direct. Immeasurably Deep.

Extra Credit:

Setting aside a chunk of time everyday for your vital work is the best habit & practice to cultivate, and it is a spiritual practice. But for many of us the need to go deeper is present-the Hermit goes very deep. His energy is based off of mystics who went into the desert to live, fast, pray, and invoke God for months and years at a time. You don’t have to pull out the sunscreen, but think about how you can bring more time & space into your life. Start by looking at how much time you spend in front of a screen…do a digital detox for a weekend, a week, a month, and report back on how you feel.

I encourage you to share any insights, encouragement, and questions in the comments section below–you never know when one of your questions or comments might help open this up for someone else!


16 responses to “Shuffling the Deck: The Hermit-Mastery, Solitude, Commitment & Sharing

  1. Bri,

    I love this! I just had a tarot reading yesterday where the Hermit card came up, so I am taking this as a sign to reinforce what I was told – time to go in, go deep, take time to reflect and store up my energy resources. Thanks for this beautiful addition to my healing process.

  2. Miss Bri on said:

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting Laura! I love the phrase go in and go deep–YES! Exactly the energy of the Hermit!

  3. Thanks Bri! It was a message I was looking for, how to stop postponing things that I want to do. I love the idea for digital detox. Next time when I sit to write my book I will switch off my wireless router so I can’t be tempted to browse the Internet while I’m writing.

  4. Bri,
    I love this, exactly what I needed to read today. I love the step by step process laid out to get things done. That is so simple but sometimes difficult to set in motion. The digital break for a month – that would be a huge challenge but I definitely see how it could have positive impacts!

  5. Miss Bri on said:

    Kim! I am so glad that this was helpful to you–I like steps too–they help me pull out the meat of something and know exactly what needs to be acted upon!

  6. Miss Bri on said:

    Yes–allowing yourself that sacred space and time is so important Inga!

  7. It is so funny, because whenever I have a reading that is the card that always shows up.
    I guess I am not listening to the message… :) Thanks for the hint with the flagpost:)

  8. This is quite thought provoking Bri! Thanks. I find fear of success to be as great a roadblock as fear of failure. I am also looking for new office space because, even though I have done many things to help it be sacred, it’s still in the basement with no windows! Thanks for the encouragement :)

  9. Miss Bri on said:

    Mel–you are so welcome! I am glad that it spoke to you!

  10. “Digital Detox” that is so cool!!! I try to limit my TV time to under 2 hrs a day but in the summer feel quite guilty sitting inside in front of a tv set when it’s still glorious outside at 8pm. I think it may be time for a digital “summer” detox. Thanks for the thought. ♥

  11. Miss Bri on said:

    Hi Julie–yes, a digital detox is an awesome experience-kind of funny to write/talk about online but excellent nevertheless!

  12. I need to cultivate more of the Hermit in my life! When I’m working, I often come up against minor roadblocks — things that make me wait on something for a few mintues (sometimes longer). To “maximize” time, I’ll turn to some other task in that time, only to become scattered an dlose track of my original goal. But if I stayed focused, and used that waiting time for unplugging, maybe I’d actually get MORE done!?

  13. Miss Bri on said:

    I have the exact same challenge! I do find that focusing on one project at a time and really nailing that before moving onto the next to be the most helpful use of my time & energy!

  14. I love the idea of creating a sacred space for work. Makes me really look forward to my time in my workspace. Monday morning here I come!

  15. Miss Bri on said:

    Yay! That’s right Patty-you tell Monday what its about!

  16. Miss Bri on said:

    Absolutely Karen! Its important to allow your work the space to really flourish!